Fahy: ‘Biggest Loser Is Bermuda’s Environment’

August 31, 2012

SDO after SDO has been granted to allow controversial developments smooth passage and the biggest loser is Bermuda’s environment, said OBA Senator Michael Fahy.

Tuckers Point recently confirmed that it is moving forward with steps as required by the Special Development Order [SDO] granted in 2011, with an application made to the Department of Planning for the subdivision of lots on Glebe Hill.

The application is the first step for the Glebe Hill development of three residential lots and subdivides one existing parcel into six additional lots; three for residential use as provided for in the SDO, one for a boundary adjustment, and two non-developable amenity lots.

Senator Fahy said: “If there is a silver lining in the application by Tucker’s Point Management Ltd to subdivide land at Tucker’s Point which is to be sold as sites for luxury homes, it is that anything that helps to financially stabilise the Tucker’s Point group, well known to be having a difficult time of it financially, helps Bermuda and our efforts to revive tourism.

“But anyone who has been following this story as it has developed over the last year or two knows that that is a mighty slim silver lining.

“Mr Stuart Hayward of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) has accused the Tucker’s Point group of trying to sidestep “stringent conditions” attached to the Government Special Development Order which allowed such environmentally sensitive land to be developed in the first place.

“Tucker’s Point denies it, saying its application is a technical one…simply for subdivision, and not for development. Relations between those two groups and between BEST and the Government are not cordial.

“And everybody will remember the Ombudsman’s Report published earlier this year, which told a sad and depressing tale of a Government that, among other things, broke an international agreement – the United Kingdom’s Environment Charter, signed by Bermuda more than a decade ago – in order to allow Tucker’s Point to do what it felt it needed to do with a minimum of fuss.

“The Government’s wish for a minimum of fuss has led it astray many times in the Planning arena. SDO after SDO after SDO has been granted to allow controversial developments smooth passage through the court of public opinion.

Senator Fahy continued: “But circumventing the law is a dangerous business. It doesn’t take people long to figure out what’s going on, and they are bound to wonder what else the Government is circumventing in its management of Bermuda.

“The biggest loser is Bermuda’s environment, which always seems to be handed the short end of the stick. The One Bermuda Alliance, it is worth pointing out, is a supporter of using brownfield sites for development – sites, that is, that have already had at least one use in their history. Virgin land, we believe, should remain virgin.

“But in addition to the environment, there is also another casualty. The price the Government pays with these short cuts is a loss of trust. Those involved in the Planning process lose trust, environmental groups lose trust, the British Government has lost trust in this case, and the Bermuda public loses trust.

“The ability to make Special Development Orders is not, as the Government thinks it is, the gift that keeps on giving. It’s the gift that never stops taking,” concluded Senator Fahy.

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Comments (10)

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  1. swing voter says:

    mike um in yur corner on this one….but we can’t ignore the damage SDOs have caused for over 40 yrs…..Real Estate businesses named after politicians of the past and primarily owned by influential government officials turned several acres of green space into high end condos and upscale housing by first creating then exploiting the SDO process…..TP is just another example of greed, this time its not the politicians that benefit… Its more painful that the same people that sat in opposition prior to 1998 were feverantly against the SOD process in general

  2. This is a sad state of affairs and the bottom line to it all is that it is not a black and white issue but a greed issue that is being shared by some of the present leaders and our former leaders and their business associates.

    They are hell bent in getting all they can and canning all they get but pay day all ways come so it wont be long before we see the fall out for these decisions.

    • xfiles says:

      Just left the Southampton Princess.Every PLP big wig there for a big party .Saw Ministers who were fired and demoted,laughing and snubbing their noses to us common folk.I hope this is not on our tab.The AG needs to check the expense reports for August 31 2012.$200 bottles of wine were being delivered to every table.
      I couldn’t pay my electric bill today.

      • Real Files says:

        I remember when the UBP/OBA was refusing people loans based on ones race/color.
        Now their left over spawn want to do the same thing.

      • Local says:

        Labour Day banquet. See new story on that.

  3. Hmmmmm says:

    “But circumventing the law is a dangerous business. It doesn’t take people long to figure out what’s going on, and they are bound to wonder what else the Government is circumventing in its management of Bermuda.

    Who do you think you’re fooling? The whole reason for SDOs is to take them out of the planning process. By their very nature they defy the rules that apply to other developments. That’s why they’re called (drum roll please) SPECIAL Development Orders. As usual the OBA has quasi-criminalized their use and my backtracking leader has caved in and made them the subject of legislative scrutiny now. See Paula, even that is not enough to stop them calling you corrupt. You might as well just govern and get something done.

    And Fahy, if you think David Cameron and the boys called Gozney or Fergusson in the dark of night over this one then you haven’t been reading your Daily Telegraph lately. Far bigger fish to fry over in Blighty.

    Be reminded, the UBP invented SDOs and used them. Just seems like you never read about it then….wonder why that is ? hmmmmmmmm.

    • Verbal Kint says:

      A lot of the people who are against this selling off of the island’s green space were not here or were not of voting age when the UBP were in power. A lot of the people who want to see the Island free of corruption were not here or not of voting age then. So when you get the urge to say, “They started it”, why don’t you do everyone on the Rock a favor and shut the Hell up!

      • Shaking the Head says:

        SDO’s were created for the purpose of emergency situations such as rapid recovery and reconstruction following a hurricane. They were never intended to be misused as the PLP have misused them.

        In this case it is likely that 3 acres of virgin hillside has a value of around $100,000 at most, but with planning permission it becomes at least $3 million and so provides more collateral for HSBC.

      • More with less says:

        This is a great point, seems all these UBP did it folks forget that not everyone is over 32. And the under 35 group are the ones that have grown up learning about importance of the environment. So they dont give a rats as. what the UBP did when they were teenagers as politics really arent on your mind. They have grown up in a PLP environment and its not pretty.

  4. Local says:

    SDO = Sustainable Development Override